Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Climb is Always On

It seems I have a terrible desire to climb long, steep hills on a bike...While suffering up many climbs I have thought about why I feel a need to do this kind of torturous thing to myself. It's so bad that there have been times I've gotten to the top of a long 12-20% grade just to turn around so I can climb it again. That is totally insane...What it wrong with me??? I have yet to answer this question that my internal voice asks everytime my legs are burning up a hill.

I still do stop and enjoy the good stuff along the way though - like here on the bridge over Asotin Creek (about 20 miles from home) I am in the classical "Largent" position (for those who don't know, Largent is a road-tourist type that can be found in the nap-position nearly anywhere). I typically stop here to refuel, enjoy the sounds from the creek, the warmth of the sun, and ponder on which of 4-rides I really want to suffer up from this point on. On this day I chose to head up the South Fork Asotin Creek (uhmm...very steep at the start) until I ran into sticky mud and snow (which was not very far up as you can see from the first steep point on the profile) then I venture back down and up Campbell grade (1000 feet up in about 1-mile, which means it's a tad steep). Total climbing this day was ~4300 feet.
A few days later I found myself riding up George Creek Grade and beyond. I turned around after I decided it was getting a tad late to keep going without any lights on the bike. At the bottom of the grade I turned the Ellsworth 650B around to climb up the hill again just to be sure I would finish off any excess energy I still had (4700 feet total climbing this day). I recovered by going to work and running my buns off for a few days at the always busy TriState Hospital Emergency Department (because that is where I work). In between some of these medium-lenth mountain-bike rides I typically make a few loops (2-6 usually depending time) at Hells Gate State Park. The middle of the profile below is 2-loops at Hells Gate that I did on my single-speed (2900 feet of climbing). I can hardly wait for the snow to melt so I can get back to doing more of those 8-10,000+ foot days! As always anyone is welcome to ride with me.

1 comment:

Doug G said...

Hi Eric,

I just did Campbell grade for the first time today....It is quite steep for sure! The view is worth it though.